Learn about the stories of people from the local area, from John de Courcy to Con O’Neill. See the formidable Carrickfergus Castle, gun turrets, shipwrecks and track the routes of our ancient forefathers. We are an island community and this is a great way to connect with our past.
Enjoy a personal guided tour around Belfast Lough, with tales from the past. Feel free to ask any questions, or just allow yourself to drift back in time, to a spiritual land of gods, giants and an affinity with nature.
We will have a gentle start to the day, with home-made wheaten bread, scones and the finest Causeway Coffee, great enough to bear the name of Oonagh MacCool. As we set off past the renowned Carrickfergus Castle, most of us are familiar with John de Courcy and his power in Ireland almost a millenium ago, but how much did you know about the part Carrickfergus and Belfast played in WW2? Or were you aware of the expedition Lord Dufferin led to the the Arctic in 1856? What about the origins of our landmarks? – Learn more about the haunting tales of Whitehead, Fairhead, Rathlin Island and the role the Vikings had to play in our history. As time goes on, we get swept up in the power and majesty of the sea and the waves. The improbable seems quite likely and the battle between Finn MacCool and Angus Benandonner becomes very real. The material world we left behind is gradually replaced by a sense of spirituality and inner peace. These moments of solitude and peaceful isolation are difficult to achieve on land. No subject is out of bounds; what happens at sea stays at sea!
Yes, we have two heads (toilets) aboard. One electric, à la Japan 😊 and one manual. Marine toilets are a new experience for many people. You need to pump out the bowl when you’ve finished and pump fresh water back in again. Toilet roll should be kept to a minimum, or at least flush after every few sheets.
No, most of the old sailors believed it was better to die quickly if you fell overboard. Swimming would only prolong the agony.
We will provide lifejackets, but see note above about swimming. Please stay on the boat. 😊
Snacks and a light lunch will be provided aboard, within the package price. Evening meal and breakfast is included within the overnight package. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us beforehand, or bring your own food if you wish.
No, we will sail the yacht, allowing you to look around you and enjoy the experience.
This is not a training course, but we hope that you will learn a few things along the way, even about yourself. If you think sailing could be your new hobby and you want to take it further, we will be happy to advise.
We will meet you at the gates to the marina, beside the West Marina Car Park and Windrose Bar, in Carrickfergus. If you require transport, we have a 9-seater VW Transporter and we can collect your group and luggage from anywhere in the region.
We would advise bringing a waterproof coat. Climate change is a slow process and Northern Ireland still has twice the rainfall of Spain. ☹ Only soft-soled, non-marking shoes please.
Seasickness normally takes a few hours, so we should be back on dry land before it takes effect. Even Admiral Nelson got seasick, so don’t worry too much about it. If you stay warm, well rested and well hydrated you improve your chances. Anxiety is a factor too, so sit back and enjoy the trip.
Yes, but unfortunately we would need to add a 50% surcharge. If you are flexible with dates, you could join another small group or individual.